Palo Alto Networks Channel Chief Leaves For Hyper-Converged Startup

Palo Alto Networks channel chief Todd Palmer, who was key in revamping the security vendor's partner program last year, has left to join hyper-converged startup Cohesity.

Palmer spent the last three years as Palo Alto Networks' vice president of Americas channel sales, responsible for driving the company's partner and sales strategy for thousands of partners, including more than 2,000 in North America.

"Todd helped us through a few deals in the past, so it's bad news for us that he's no longer there," said one top executive from a solution provider and Palo Alto partner who did not wish to be named. "I think he really helped make their partner program better from a profitability standpoint … I'm hoping they replace him with someone with just as much experience and thoroughness."

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Palo Alto Networks confirmed Palmer's departure to CRN.

The company said it has yet to name a replacement for Palmer but plans to "very soon."

"In the meantime, our channel team has tremendous bench strength that will maintain continuity with our partners and customers," said John Spiliotis, senior vice president, Americas, at Palo Alto Networks, in a statement to CRN. "[Todd] was a valuable contributor in our NextWave Channel Partner Program."

The anonymous solution provider executive said Palmer played a key role in updating the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor's Partner Program in 2016. Enhancements to the program included additional incentives, improved margins and added a new highest tier, "diamond," to the program.

"He knew what worked for partners and you saw that in the changes that were made to invest more in those that were investing in the company," said the executive. "There's definitely a gap that will need to be filled there."

Palmer is now the new vice president of worldwide channels at Cohesity, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Cohesity develops hyper-converged infrastructure with a secondary storage focus that allows partners to consolidate data protection, test-dev, file services, and analytic data onto a scalable platform spanning on-premises and cloud infrastructures.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup has hired former executives from the likes of NetApp and Nimble Storage to run its sales and expand its channels. Cohesity recently unveiled the latest generation of its Cohesity DataPlatform and Cohesity DataProtect software applications.

In April, Cohesity raised $90 million in a Series C funding round from the likes of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Cisco. The startup has raised a total of $160 million to date.

Palmer has nearly two decades of experience in indirect sales, holding channel roles at CA Technologies and NetApp, including vice president of Americas channel at NetApp.